Black Sun Widow

Chapter 3—The Adventure Begins

Lani ran her finger over all of her treasures and sighed.

Three piles. Set them in three piles then you can take the necklace, mirror, and blanket and head out of here. Just divide the rest of the treasures into three piles.

"Can I even do this to them…should I wait?" she whispered, careful that the girls didn't hear her. I have to trust them and…I have to trust myself.

She looked in the mirror and tugged her braid to the side, red eyes glowing. Her dark skin hid beneath her dark black hair and she sighed again.

I look most like the elves, more specifically, the Sin'dorei. Let's see, what sort of story can I make up…I was wounded at the Sunwell explosion and have poor daylight vision due to the blast. It also discolored my eyes red, and I never used fel magic or drew power from it. Yes, yes, that works. And my name will be Lani Blooddawn, and I am adventuring to discover just how bad the old gods are. I also want to avenge my family against the Scourge, and I seek to earn enough materials to make a stall to sell my wares after my adventure is over. I'm not fond of the orcs, but I am willing to work with them to make a better Horde. Is that all I need…

She nodded to herself and pulled out her old rucksack. A skinning knife and small spade for digging up flowers lay inside. Guess my wares are leathers and flowers. I have a pickaxe, but that's too bulky. Leather and herbs it is, I can make money with that.

She gently eased the mirror into a side pocket and then tucked her blanket in. Next, she picked up the amulet and put it around her neck. The other treasures—among them a bronze dragon's pocketwatch, a blue dragon's claw, a red dragon's neck scales, and several trinkets for fighting—were divided up into three even piles. Lani then pulled out a pen and some paper from her single drawer and wrote her daughter's names on it. She tore the paper into three strips and placed the name on the pile she thought best fit the girls.

I guess it's time.

You'll never make it without him, a cool voice whispered in the back of her mind. Lani shook her head. She had heard those negative voices since she was a small whelp; it was one of the things that made her so close to her father. She heard what he heard. But she hadn't gone insane. Maybe he went mad because he was an aspect. Or maybe he heard them worse than she did—driving an aspect to do dirty work had proven successful for the blue dragons in Northrend and seemed to be working dangerously well for the black and twilight dragons all around Azeroth. But was there a connection in Malygos' madness and Neltharion's? And what about that human that became the Lich King, Arthas? Did his madness also have something to do with what drove so many others mad?

I'll do what I damned well please with or without anyone, she replied. The voice hissed but made no other sounds or taunts towards her. Lani looked down at her feet and shook her head. Hooves. She forced them into feet and walked around her room awkwardly, stumbling and catching herself several times before she felt comfortable with 'normal' feet. She ran a hand over her head, relieved that she didn't have horns to hide.

It is time. I've got to go now or I'll second-guess myself into staying put.

"Girls, come here," Lani called. She heard the swishing of wings and pounding of large feet shift to that of hooves. Maraina was the first to arrive, then Cheru, then Zellana.

"None of you argue or talk back. These three piles are for you. They may come in handy, but I hope that you don't have to use them. Now, come hug your mother before she leaves."

All three girls embraced Lani, Cheru crying and Zellana fighting tears. Maraina seemed the calmest, but she was the one to speak.

"You only have to do this if your heart demands it, Lani."

"My soul demands it, Raina," Lani replied.

"Just don't let your soul take away what your heart has earned you on a futile mission. It's time we recognize how dangerous this is for you and…I wish I could go with you. But I'll see you again, right? We'll all see you again?"

"Absolutely," Lani replied, hiding her doubts and fears. "I look forward to see how much you three will grow while I am gone."

"Ever the mother," Zelanna sobbed as she buried her head under Lani's chin. Cheru cried louder and let go, sulking back to the bed.

"Maraina, you make sure to be home on time. Zelanna, keep your temper down around the whelps. Cheru, be the beautiful optimist you are by nature. All three of you, be true to yourselves and you cannot fail anything. I love you, girls. I love you so much," Lani replied, breaking the embrace and wiping a tear away.

"It's time."

The girls nodded weakly as Lani walked past them, rucksack tied loosely on her back. She reached the entrance of the cave and denied herself a chance to look back at her family. Instead, she pulled the rucksack off of her back and placed it in her mouth, transforming and flying north towards the place she knew an old god to be: the maw of Iso'rath.